The release of the first College Football Playoff rankings revealed some interesting statements about the Big 12.
No. 7 TCU is ranked well ahead of No. 13 Baylor despite losing to the Bears. Kansas State, the Big 12's lone remaining unbeaten team in conference play, is No. 9 despite almost beating No. 3 Auburn. And the committee is clearly not respecting No. 20 West Virginia.
Big 12 Week 10 Game Power Rankings
1. TCU (-5) at West Virginia
3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2
In a bizarre twist, the Mountaineers won impressively in Stillwater last weekend by running the football. With Trevone Boykin coming into town, Clint Trickett and Kevin White will have to get back on track in the passing game. In fact, if TCU decides to play man coverage, WVU’s Kevin White will be guarded by TCU’s Kevin White in many situations. The real key will be the play of both defensive lines, however. The Mountaineers were able to pressure and disrupt Baylor and it led to an upset while the Frogs brag two of the better defensive tackles in the league in Davion Pierson and Chucky Hunter. Whichever team is more one-dimensional will likely walk out of Milan Puskar Stadium a loser.
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2. Oklahoma St (+14) at Kansas St
8 p.m., ABC
The Wildcats are atop the Big 12 standings but have a nasty road schedule left over the final month. So it obviously can’t afford any mistakes at home against two touchdown-underdogs. Kansas State’s defense was suffocating last week against Texas, allowing 196 yards, 3.8 yards per play and zero points. That is bad news for a team that managed just 10 points at home against West Virginia. In fact, over its last three games, OSU has mustered just 323 yards per game. That won’t cut it on the road against Jake Waters, Tyler Lockett and one of the most balanced and complete teams in the nation.
3. Texas (pk) at Texas Tech
7:30 p.m., FS1
One team was shutout last weekend and the other allowed 82 points. Things are not going the way either Kliff Kingsbury or Charlie Strong had planned in 2014. But this games presents an opportunity for both struggling programs. Tyrone Swoopes (106 yards last week) and Davis Webb (13 INTs this season) have had issues this fall in their first full seasons as starting quarterbacks but both have upside. This is one of the few chances Tech has left for a “quality” league win for a team that has lost nine of its last 10 Big 12 games. A loss at home to one of the worst offenses in the league would be extremely telling about the development of this program under Kingsbury.
4. Oklahoma (-16.5) at Iowa St
The Sooners debut in the Playoff Rankings as the fourth-best team in the league. But they aren’t out of the race just yet with plenty of winnable games left on the schedule. Oklahoma has dominated the series against ISU since Paul Rhoads took over, winning all four meetings by an average of 31.3 points per game. Both teams have had two weeks to prepare, so the Cyclones will have to play near-perfect football to pull off the upset. The good news is Iowa State is coming off of its best offensive showing of the year, a season-high 524 yards and 45 points against Texas last week.
5. Kansas (+35) at Baylor
4 p.m., FS1
Poor Kansas. Baylor likely feels snubbed by the committee despite defeating the top-ranked team in the Big 12. So don't be surprised if the Bears take out some of their frustration on the Jayhawks this weekend. Art Briles' bunch is still in control of its own destiny in the Big 12 and playoff picture, so fans in shiny new McLane Stadium should expect a motivated Bears performance. The last two meetings between these two in Waco were Baylor wins by a combined 96-21 score.
Big 12 Predictions:
TCU (-5) at WVU
OSU (+14) at KSU
Texas (pk) at T. Tech
Okla. (-16.5) at ISU
Kansas (+35) at Baylor